News List

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

City gets grant to help people with arthritis

Mike Conway

Post Date:06/14/2018


Media Contact:

Jennifer Meissonnier City of Merced Parks and Recreation 209-385-6854

Merced receives grant for physical activity program MERCED ' The City of Merced Parks and Recreation Department, in collaboration with Dignity Health, will soon be offering adults with arthritis a new way to manage pain and stay fit. Thanks to an instructor training grant from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the City of Merced in collaboration with Dignity Health will offer the Walk With Ease (WWE) program to the Merced community. Merced City Parks and Recreation is one of 88 park and recreation agencies to receive the WWE instructor training grant.      The WWE program, developed by the Arthritis Foundation, is scientifically proven to help reduce pain and stiffness associated with arthritis, but also offers benefits for people managing other chronic conditions. Studies by the Thurston Arthritis Research Center and the Institute on Aging at the University of North Carolina have shown that the WWE program contributes to reduced pain, increased balance and strength, increased levels of physical activity, and improved overall health.

Together, NRPA and the CDC aim to reach more people living with arthritis and other chronic conditions to improve their levels of physical activity and quality of life through this trusted and measurable program administered by local parks and recreation agencies across the country.

'Sixty percent of adults in the United States suffer from one or more chronic conditions,' said Joey Chavez, Interim Director of Parks and Recreation. 'This grant from NRPA and the CDC allows us to help the older adults in our community, and adds a new way Merced residents can work to achieve a healthy lifestyle. We are excited because this is a new type of program offering for our community, and we hope many people will take advantage of it.'

The programs provided by Parks and Recreation in collaboration with Dignity Health will be offered at the Mercy Outpatient Center located at 2740 M. Street on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 to 10 a.m. Classes run for six weeks and are taught by certified and trained instructors. The classes are ideally suited for anyone that is interested in a low-impact exercise program in their local community, especially those looking to manage their chronic condition. The first session is scheduled to begin June 25, with other sessions rolling out throughout the summer and fall. To register visit the Parks and Recreation office at 632 W. 18th Street, Merced, CA 95340.

For more information, call 385-6235 or visit 

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of more than 60,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA's flagship publication, Parks & Recreation , visit

Return to full list >>